Describing Village Life
Talking to somebody in Bradwell the other day, they told me they had read my latest book. I hung on to every word, such readers being rarer than hen’s teeth. They wanted me to do for Bradwell what I had done for Christchurch. However, was that character assassination? To call the oldest population in the UK the gerontocracy and to suggest that they alone were responsible for Brexit. Firstly, I felt complimented and then the panic overwhelmed me. In Christchurch, I was transparent, just another old person in a tribe of old people. Here, in a village, where I have already been called an incomer, I am clearly visible. There are also mine shafts everywhere and people can easily disappear. Whatever, how would I go about describing village life?
Just in case
In the village, an ideal state is a small piece of land, some space; the Peak District croft. A certain kind of rural man fantasises about this; he can store stuff. It’s stuff that might just come in useful or might be repairable or perhaps just have a macho weight about it. Piles of stone, piles of timber, old farm implements, a dumper maybe, retired cars of a certain vintage and bedheads; lots of bedheads to fill gaps in the stone wall. And a selection of plastic containers is typical, all laminating after years of ultra violet rays. Periodically, the stuff is moved around, rather like rehanging a picture gallery. There is a hidden perspective here, something intangible that stretches back millenia in the male species. How could I possibly describe it?
Describing village life
I imagine countless discussion betwixt the male and female in such environs. “When are you going to do something about all that stuff?” However, the male acts deaf; all that work with noisy engines. Who is going to do something about all the rats? What rats? Psychologically, what is better than a croft full of potential, the repurposing of old stuff. Do the neighbours even notice it? Is it characteristic of this village? Not at all, it’s just the rustic landscape, one of the joys of living in the sticks. By the way, what are you doing with that old bedhead?